Yes, I braved the crowds of black Friday this morning. Well, it was more like late-morning. Around 10, to be exact. I refuse to spend hours in line, waiting for deals, when I could be sleeping or spending time being with people I love, or doing some project that needs doing. Mostly, I think I’m just rebelling against the culture that says I have to go crazy the day after Thanksgiving (or the hour after the Thanksgiving meal? What’s up with that?) and go spend lots of money on stuff.
I find it ironic that after our National Day of Thanksgiving, when we say we’re focusing on all that we have, on all the many blessings God has given us, we turn around and spend, spend, spend on more stuff. Because we don’t have enough? Because there’s something new and shiny we must have? Something’s not quite right there, if you ask me. I mean, sure, with the sales the way they are, you’re probably being a good steward of your money if you go buy something for $25 cheaper, than if you hadn’t waited for the sale. But still….something’s not right.
I mean, if you’re truly thankful for what you do have, you probably aren’t out trying to get more, right? At least, this is what my mind says. Maybe I’m wrong; I’d love to know what you think. But, in my wonderful little naïve world, I like to think that being thankful means that I take care of what I do have, that I treasure it, and don’t necessarily feel the urge to go buy more stuff. Again, I could be cynical here.
And really, I’m a bit of a hypocrite when I say this. For instance, there was a time when I didn’t like my body because I was too curvy (it still is, but I’m okay with it now). I should have been thankful that, curvy or not, my body was in full-functioning order. I can run up and down the stairs at will. I can walk whenever, however I want. I can jump, squeal, eat, and sleep pretty much whenever I need to. God has blessed me greatly with such a gift. There are people all over the world that would love to live in the body I do every day. But, there I was with this amazing gift, and I wanted to change it, and I didn’t take care of it as well as I should have.
There are so many other examples of my lack of thankfulness. I have a perfectly working car, but secretly (shhh, don’t tell Nautilus – my current car) I want a different one. I’m surrounded by sweet friends, warm family, and wise mentors, and still I want a boyfriend. Now, wanting a boyfriend is not a bad desire, but when I let that want overshadow my thankfulness of what I DO have, then comes the problem. I want to live somewhere else, I want a couple of books (even though my bedroom is already full of them), I want a different camera so I can take better pictures, I want I want I want.
And yet, I’m doing fine. I’m warm. I’m not hungry, and am not likely to be anytime soon. I have a closet full of clothes (Oh yeah, I want a shirt I saw at the store today), I can see, I can sing (sorta), I can dance (again – sorta). In many cultures, I’d be considered a princess. I need to remember that.
So, I guess after all this rambling, I would encourage you to look around you. Realize that no matter what your house (or apartment, or shack) looks like, you’re probably wealthy. If you have people that love you, a decently working body, and food around somewhere, you’re royalty. So, what are you thankful for? What SHOULD you be thankful for that maybe you’re not (little brothers and sisters? Parents? That 1982 beat-up Honda that lost its radio five years ago)? What do you want so bad that it’s casting a shadow over what you’ve already been given?
Royalty, true royalty (as in, God’s royalty, not Disney or fairy tale) knows how to be thankful, and to get rid of the shadows. So, go dispel though shadows, Princess! Be thankful.